Are you good at identifying emotions/feelings within yourself?

Example 1: At my last psych appointment the pdoc said I looked happy. I didn't think I was.

Example 2: Was recently seen at main hospital emergency department  because of chest pains. Tests were ok, but BP was higher than normal . Had to go for follow up the next day . Doctor said it had been  raised because I was anxious. Apparently my pulse rate was fast.  I hadn't noticed I was anxious.

I don't think it happens all the time ie I sometimes know when I'm anxious etc .

  • My daughter struggles a bit with this she can recognise extreme emotions like anger but struggles to identify smaller ones like frustration it's all or nothing for her

  • I used to think I did. I mean you assume you know what emotions feel like. But I've recently realised that not only do I have no idea how to tell emotions on other people, I also have no clue when it comes to my own emotions. This is quite a recent revelation. What I'm feeling at any one time is very difficult to describe in words. 

  • I used to think so but over the last year or two I've learned that I was wrong, so no.

    I know that one reason that I became overstressed is down to the fact that I don't notice viscerally - I need to observe my behaviour. Likewise if I'm jumping round the lounge playing with our dogs, I often think "I must be happy".

    "Alexithymia" seems to describe this accurately for me.

  • I had to describe what things like angry and sad were like doing the ADOS. It threw me completely.

  • Yes, that's exactly my experience. I'm aware of 'amygdala' type emotions - anger, fear etc (although often can't connect it to a cause) but have no idea what I'm feeling unless it's powerfully overwhelming. I'm not aware of my emotional responses to things happening in my environment. Even with strong emotions, if I'm not able to do anything about it, I'll 'switch it off'.

  • Hi Firemonkey. I have a HUGE problem recognising my emotions until I reach overload state. And I also feel emotions on a sort of delayed reaction. So I can deal with something quite extreme going on and appear calm and in control, but it hits me later. 

    When my emotions DO kick in I often go overboard, quite a while after the actual event or insult. I am working on this at present. Identifying emotions, where they belong on a scale or wheel of intensity, then identifying what my actual feelings are. 

    I’m the opposite of you though in that I can be really happy, then some stranger says “Cheer up, it may never happen!” I just respond “It already has!” mainly to stop the conversation. 

  • That's my answer when people tell me to cheer up! 

  • I tend to think I am but then am often alerted to what I'm really feeling by vivid dreams or nightmares.  Sometimes, especially at times of great stress of turmoil, my conscious mind doesn't seem to alert me.   

  • The one I often get is "Are you happy?" / "Yes" / "Tell your face then?"

    Recently I've seen why people say this though. When I'm on face time to my daughter, I see the little picture of myself in the corner and I have to say that I do look pretty miserable, even if I'm not - to the point that I actually can't bear to look at myself. Sigh.